Ganong closes out World Cup career
SOLDEU, Andorra — Lake Tahoe alpine legend Travis Ganong has raced down a World Cup course for the final time.
Ganong traveled to Andorra for the final event of his 17-year career of competing for the U.S. alpine team. The 34-year-old closed out his career Wednesday with a 20th place in downhill.
“It was a pleasure being a downhiller for the last 17 years and not many people get to do this, especially at this level,” said Ganong, in an interview with U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “Fighting for podiums and winning races and I mean, it’s just unbelievable being in this place and being a contender.”
The Team Palisades Tahoe skier announced his retirement earlier this month prior to the World Cup stop in Aspen, Colorado. He finished his final World Cup downhill race with a time of 1 minute, 28.41 seconds.
“It was a little weird being at the start knowing that I would never be there again,” added Ganong. “I tried, and I pushed pretty good in some sections. I wasn’t really willing to push 100%. But I’m happy to just have one last downhill.”
Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr won the race with a time of 1:26.59.
At the end of his run, Ganong was doused with a bottle of champagne by his fiancé, Marie-Michèle Gagnon, who also recently announced her retirement from World Cup racing.
“You get to the point where you’ve taken so much risk in your career and as a racer, and you’ve pulled off some amazing results and you start to balance the risk versus reward and you realize there’s way more in life and then racing,” said Ganong.
Ganong ends his career as a two-time Olympian, including fifth-place finish in downhill in 2014 in Sochi, Russia. He also claimed silver at 2015 World Championships at Beaver Creek Resort, in Colorado. The Team Palisades Tahoe skier made his World Cup debut in 2009. He won a World Cup downhill event in Italy in 2014 and won downhill again in Germany in 2017. He landed on the podium six times, including this season when he achieved a career-long goal of standing on the podium at iconic Kitzbühel track where he finished in third place in downhill.
Ganong closes the season ranked 15th in the world in downhill.
“I am super excited to not be stressed out all winter long and just enjoy the mountains, the winter, get back to the roots of the passion of why I started skiing in the first place which is more around free skiing and connecting with nature and sharing moments in the mountains with friends,” said Ganong.
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